A Chess Coach and a Restaurateur Are Likely to Join Portland City Council Candidate Pool

Ricky Gomez owns Palomar, the renowned Cuban bar and restaurant on the inner eastside.

4428_dish_Palomar_AbbyGordon_7H2B4090 (Abby Gordon)

Ricky Gomez, who owns the award-winning Cuban bar and restaurant Palomar on the Central Eastside, is likely going to run for one of the 12 Portland City Council seats up for grabs next year.

“I haven’t officially declared yet and am still in the process of evaluating the position and election cycle,” Gomez said in an email to WW.

Another likely hopeful is Chad Lykins, owner of Rose City Chess, a chess club that’s coached winning chess teams for years. Lykins is likely to run in District 4, which includes all of the westside and a sliver of Southeast Portland. Lykins holds a doctorate in leadership and policy studies from Vanderbilt University and is Oregon’s delegate to the United States Chess Federation.

Lykins declined to comment, saying he “won’t be answering any questions from the media about City Council for at least a few more weeks.”

Gomez and Lykins join a growing list of City Council hopefuls. More than 15 candidates so far have either filed for the city’s Small Donor Elections program, registered a political action committee with the state, or publicly declared their intent to run in one of the new City Council’s four geographic voting districts next year.

The future City Council is a dramatic expansion of the current five-member council thanks to a ballot measure approved by voters last fall that radically reshaped how the city functions, including the role of the City Council itself. Members of the council will no longer manage a portfolio of bureaus as they do under the current system; instead, they will be full-time city policymakers. Bureaus will be managed by a professional city administrator.

Candidates in the running already include Robin Ye, chief of staff to state Rep. Khanh Pham (D-East Portland); transportation advocate Steph Routh; city Housing Bureau employee Chris Flanary; and Tony Morse, policy director at Oregon Recovers.

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